The Nets say Kyrie won’t play until eligible — here’s how they replace their star guard

  • Co-author, Pro Basketball Prospectus series
  • Formerly a consultant with the Indiana Pacers
  • Developed WARP rating and SCHOENE system

How will the Brooklyn Nets replace Kyrie Irving if he misses time after Tuesday’s announcement that the star point guard will not practice or play until he’s eligible for home games based on New York City’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements?

Before Tuesday, Nets coach Steve Nash had to contemplate the possibility of coming up with two different rotations — one for road games with Irving and another for the home games he would miss. Now, Brooklyn won’t face that kind of game-to-game variability starting with next Tuesday’s season opener in Milwaukee against the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks. However, the Nets must consider the prospect of no contributions from Irving, a seven-time All-Star who averaged 26.9 points per game and 6.0 assists per game in 2020-21.

Even before New York City announced a vaccination requirement for many indoor events, Brooklyn had added depth in the backcourt this offseason. Assuming Irving doesn’t change his mind on vaccination and isn’t traded to a team that doesn’t face the same kind of restrictions, let’s take a look at how Nash might build a rotation for the 2021-22 season that doesn’t include Irving.

What preseason reveals about the Nets’ plans

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